tv Senator Durbin on Supreme Court Nominee CSPAN March 28, 2017 6:23pm-6:47pm EDT
mr. president the proposed cutsy the administration sent up last night will not receive the support of very many people i believe in this chamber. these cuts would be bad for the american people and not what the american people want and they are completely against one of the president's core promises in his campaign and they will be vigorously opposed i believe by members on both sides of the the aisle. thank you mr. president and i yield the floor. the >> mr. president i rise to speak on the nomination of judge neil gorsuch to serve on the u.s. supreme court. the core port and to reflect her mom that we have reached this moment.he it's been more than a year since the untimely passing of justice antonin scalia and bev morey of 2016. under article ii, section 2 of the united states constitution make president barack obama had a duty to make a nomination to fill that vacancy. he met that obligation by nominating chief judge merit
harland in march of 2016. the leader of the senate republicans majority leader mcconnell announced for the first time, for the first time-y in the 200 30-year history of the senate he would refuse thete president nominate judge garland a hearing and a vote. senator mcconnell would further say he would refuse to even meet with judge garland. it was a transparent political b decision made by the republican leader in the hopes that a republican would be elected president of vacancy and part of a broader republican politicalre strategy to influence if not captured the judicial branch of court system. not only did the senate republicans keep the supreme court seat vacant for over a year, they turned the executive calendar into a nomination obituary column for judicial nominees who had been reported out of the judiciary committee
with bipartisan support. they were hoping a republican president would fill all of those seats and they were prepared to leave it vacant for a year or more to achieve that end. what kind of nominees were they hoping or? nominees who digressed by special-interest by big business and by republican advocacy organizations. it was last year then candidate donald trump released the list of 21 potential supreme court candidates who were handpicked by two republican advocacy groups the federalist society and the heritage foundation. i'm not speculating on the fact that they were chosen by those two groups. candidate trump public we thank the groups for giving him a list of names to fill the vacancies on the supreme court. he was unprecedented for anyone including a candidate forel president to outsource the judicial selection process to special-interest groups.
president trump did it. true to his word to the special-interest group nominated one of the names on the list. judge neil gorsuch. on the first telephone call judge gorsuch received about his nomination was not from the white house.se it was from the federalist society. one of those republican advocacy groups. eventually judge gorsuch it to the interview stage with president trump's inner circle meeting with steve bannon, reince priebus and president trump himself. those men each took the measure of judge gorsuch gave him theire approval to study for a lifetime appointment on the highest couro in the land to president trump who had announced numerous litmus test for judicialap nominations appeared area satisfied with neil gorsuch as his nominee. i the present chief of staff reince priebus said and i quote neil gorsuch represents the type of judge that has the vision of
donald trump closed quote. there is certainly no political certainty and that the dilation but after judge gorsuch's phoneician with amounts dark money shifted. national campaign costing at least $10 billion was launched to support the gorsuch thee it'd nation. because it's dark money there's no disclosure about who's money bankrolling the disclosure but it's a same that the suppliers of dark money have at least a passing interest for the united states supreme court. despite this unprecedented and unsettling process we learned that judge gorsuch's nominationg the democrats on the judiciaryrc committee -- denied judge garland a hearing and a vote. why? because the senate democrats would take the constitution seriously. we don't turn our backs on the constitutional responsibility w and advise and consent evenrick
though that's exactly what republican colleagues did when he came to merrick garland.te last week the judiciaryin committee met for four days for the senate hearing. i thought judge gorsuch had a burden to bear at that hearing. unfit for a second i said here before that judge gorsuch needed to demonstrate that he would be a nominee who would uphold the constitution for the benefit of everyone not just for the advantage of a privileged few who happen to engineer his w nomination.d i also said judge gorsuch needed to be forthright to the american people about his record and his was views. my made clear that avoiding answers to critical questions was unacceptable. i said any to demonstrate that he would make an independent check on president trump and every president that he was prepared to disappoint the president and the right-wingnd e groups if the constitution and the law required it. judge gorsuch was given that full and fair hearing.
he was given every opportunity explain his judicial record and his views and to meet the expectations i laid out for him. i came from this hearing can firmly -- firmly convinced convinced that i must oppose the here are the reasons. judge gorsuch favors corporations and elites and the rights of voices of americans using selective textualism to advance his agenda. judge gorsuch reinforce my fear that he would lean towards corporations and special interest elite at the expense of american workers and families give business and special-interest under the robert supreme court. the jo constitutional account ability center that founded the john robert supreme court has ruled for positions advocated by the chamber of commerce 69% of the w time. i'm concerned based on overview of his record that judge carsage is likely to increase the
pro-business leanings of obama'f court. in a series of decisions and i have read many of them involving workers rights discrimination claims and consumer rights access to judge gorsuch. >> favored corporations th submitted his own judgment for that of an agency tasked with protecting the orders. no case was more egregious than the transam trucking case which was part of repeatedly at the hearing.fonse mad .. 14 degrees outside. below zero. the brakes on his trailer had frozen. after waiting for a repair truck for several hours without any heat in the cab of his truck, alfonse madden's body was starting to go numb. he called the trucking company one more time and they said you have two options: stay in that truck or drag that
frozen trailer down the interstate highway. both of those options were risks to health and safety and common sense. instead al madden unhitched the broken down trailer, drove to a gas station to fuel up and get warm, and return to the disabled trailer to wait further. for this the company fired him and that firing blackballed him from ever working as a trucker again. well, al madden came by my office and explained what he did. he heard there was some federal he heard there was some federal >> explain what he did.he heardl agency that my consider an unfair firing. he went down to the agency and took out ballpoint pen without the counselor any help. he was shocked. he one. in the case went further on appeal.
at the end of the day, seven and different judges heard his case. six of them agreed that what happened to him was unfair and unlawful. the only judge the phone for the trucking company, neil gorsuch. he said he was looking at the plaintext of the law and that's why l madden had been fired. the tenth circuit majority said he was cherry picking one definition that came to his conclusion. other dictionaries and the loss purpose of protecting the health and safety had been ignored by judge neil gorsuch. republican nominees like him often think they're using neutral philosophies to guide their decision-making. this case shows how judge neil gorsuch used selective choice of
text to advance a pro-business agenda at the expense of oneha american worker. there has been other cases in his record to demonstrate this tribe. leading the associated press to say that worker rights opinions are often sympathetically pragmatic and usually in thede employer's favor. take a look at the hobby lobby case. in that case, judge gorsuch expanded the idea that the corporation, the business is a person. tha why? he wanted to permit a for-profit corporation to impose its owners personal religious beliefs on more than 13000 employees who worked at the corporation and to limit their access to healthcare under insurance policies. d
in funding for the corporation, judge gore sick barely knowledged that it burden thousands of employees and their constitutionally protected religious beliefs and choices.in judge gorsuch also has a troubling record with persons with disabilities and discrimination. there is quite a scene last request week when the supreme court, in the midst of a hearinj on judge gorsuch issued an unanimous ruling rejecting a standard that was created by judge gorsuch. and educa i'm sure that has never happened in history. the standard that he promoted in the case where he wrote the majority opinion we can g protections for students with ce disabilities under the individuals with disabilities education act. in 2008, he wrote that under the ide a, schools need only to provide an educational benefit to students with disabilities let us "merely more than d minimus".
of his in this case, luke was a boy from colorado who suffered from severe autism. hom with the assistance and support of his teachers he made significant progress in schoolge in kindergarten and first grades then the family moved to a new home and he changed school districts. at the new school he began to lose the skills he gained. his behavior was worse. after unsuccessful attempts to address the concerns his parents decided that they could not in good conscience continue to expose bde their son to the environment those detrimental to his educational and behavioral environment.
they decided to enroll looking at school dedicated to the education of children with his type of disability. due process hearing officer and a federal district short court all found the school district had failed to provide the education guaranteed to look under the federal law ide a and was required to reimburse the cost of the privateth l residenl school that luke needed. then, judge gorsuch rule. he rolled against it. in so doing he created new, lower standard for school districts in the process. i asked judge gorsuch about it. he claimed that he was just following the law. as i pointed at the hearing, that was not accurate. legal analysis show that judge gorsuch was the first judge in the circuit to add the word merely to the standard. luke's father testified at the hearing and said that judge gorsuch as coa -- with my son oe bull's-eye of that decision. what did the chief justice, john
roberts of the supreme court say of that decision question here's what he said. "when all is said and done, h student offered an educational program providing merely moreee than d minimus progress, from year-to-year can hardly be said to be offered in education at all" the supreme court sent a strong message when they release the opinion in the midst of judge gorsuch hearing.. this case is not they unanimously said that the standard was inconsistent with the law. on this issue, judge gorsuch, the nominee, is similar to then right even of justice clarence thomas. analy
this case, an analysis of the disability decision shows that judge gorsuch as ruled against disabled cases and eight out of ten ide a cases. there's also a consistent pattern of his record on of involving employers. bloomberg analyzed his record found that he wrote for employers of eight out of 12 times. for example, he rolled against the sex discrimination claim brought by ups salesman. ruled against the disability discrimination claim brought by a cancer stricken patient. ruled against an agetw discrimination claim brought by two maintenance workers. rolled against the race discrimination claim brought by an american grocery store employee was called a monkey by his supervisor. ruled against a genderled a disability claim brought by a female county employer.
the case of grace wing was particularly troubling to me. she had been a college professor for 15 years. that she was diagnosed with cancer. she needed a bone marrow transplant.weeping at the same time, a flu epidemic was sweeping across the campus.t she asked to extend the leave work from home so she wouldn't be affected. the university denied the request and terminated her because she has to be protected from the flu epidemic. judge gorsuch offered an opinios upholding the dismissal of her disability discrimination complaint. they would not let the jury consider the reasonableness of her request. he said six months while he was more than sufficient and wrote that the purpose of disability laws, not to turn employers into safety net providers for those who cannot work.he
her children said that the judge gore sick opinion remove the human element from vacation. it did not bring justice. also during the hearing, judge gorsuch refuse to distance himself from extreme and bigoted views of one of his college pras professors, a man who he has publicly praised. overall, his record raises concern about what is confirmation would mean full the vulnerable and victimize. judge gorsuch was an aggressive defender of executive power when he worked at the justice to power during the bush administration. i offered to push legislation for the detainees, the legislation ultimately became a torture amendment which, despite a veto threat by president bush pass the senate in december 200 by 90 - 9 vote.
judge gorsuch advocated the presence should issue a statement saying that it was essentially codifying torturect techniques like waterboarding. this is despite evidence from senator mccain and others that this amendment was intended to do the opposite, by outlineen cruel and human degrading treatment. judge gorsuch e-mail correspondence is that he is viewed as such loyalists to the republican ministration.rd this is a client that he actively lobby to serve. these documents from his tenure department of justice which areo not available during his earlier confirmation hearing of the tenth circuit provide a look at his beliefs on executive power. they raise troubling questions about what he would do if callel upon to stand up to this
president or any president who claims the part or ignore lawsws that protect fundamental human e rights. the majority of questions from democratic senators at his hearing, he failed to meaningfully respond.r he had even asians and nonanswers whenever he was asked about fundamental principles and landmark cases. it didn't take long before we could finish a sentence before he started. deck in these critical questions he ended up say nothing at his hearing to the switch my concerns about the reince priebus announcement that judge gorsuch has the vision of donald trump. the supreme court must service --be not who. but judge gorsuch would not comment on the original meaning of the constitutional clause, apparently for fear possibly implicating the president nominated him. judge gorsuch may not be the first nominee to avoid answering
questions, but he went further than others. as a result members of the committee can only look at his record to decide their vote. for this lifetime appointment on the supreme court. his record on the bench and justice department make it clear that he is not the right persona to serve in the highest court in the land. we want judges to follow the law and apply the facts fairly. it's naïve to believe this is some kind of robotic exercise.th every judge bring some values to the court come in close cases those eyes can tip the meaningut of the law or the facts be for the court. one key purpose of the hearing it's a ride reassurance that the nominees values are in the american mainstream. i did not find this assurance and judge gorsuch testimony last week. certainly didn't find it in his record. he received a fair hearing but on did not have my vote. because republicans control the senate we can expect judge gorsuch to be reported out of
the committee next week and then on the senate floor. no one should be surprised if he will need to meet the standard threshold of 60 senate votes in order to be confirmed. the majority leader mcconnell oe has made clear time and again mf that 60 votes is the standards of matters of controversy in the senate. let me say a few of his more memorable quotes. on december 2, 2007 he said "i think we can simply once again for the 19th time, that matters have any level of controversy about it in the senate, will require 60 votes".n he also said, the controversial matters require 60 votes.li again on july 17, 2007, he said "60 votes in the senate, is as
common as gambling and casablanca". sixty votes is a threshold supreme court nominees have met for the last quarter century. if the supreme court nomineent cannot garner 60 votes in the senate the president should put forward a new nominee. f we are at a unique moment in history. the president has fired an attorney general and have is unconstitutional executive action blocked by many federal courts. the president, the first few tax on the integrity of the federal judiciary. now, the investigations have confirmed that russian involvement in his election. any bombshell is revealed honest everyday. in this context the senate cannot simply rubberstamp a lifetime appointment in the supreme court. i cannot support the nomination of neil gorsuch. i will vote no when his nomination comes before the committee next week. i will vote no and oppose his nomination on the senate floor. i you the floor.
>> centinela q&a. >> it was everywhere and decline. nationalist were rising up. the big strategic question we should support britain against the rising nationalists try to create a new order by mediating between the nationalist of the british. >> michael doria tarter's book, ike's gamble. about the 1956 suez crisis and its aftermath. >> i was felix trying to prevent the soviet union coming in aligning with the nationalist think taking control of the oil. we cared about the oil because it was 100% european oil came from the middle east. we wanted to make sure we had friendly arab regimes. not aligned with united states but keep the soviet union up. that was the goal. >> sunday night at eight eastern on